YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry, through the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has approved Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC)’s application to have a few fans attending the scheduled One Day International (ODIs) matches between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh women’s cricket teams, Easterntimeszim has learnt.
The Lady Chevrons ODIs matches are scheduled for 10, 12 and 15 November at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo and are expected to serve as a trial run for the safe return of spectators to stadiums. In some countries such as the United Kingdom sports fans are already attending matches at venues.
In a press statement issued by ZC today (Thursday), it stipulated that only 1 000 fans who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be permitted to watch the ODIs matches at the venue and they will be required to produce their vaccination cards and positive identification for inspection at the venue.
The spectators will also be required to adhere to coronavirus protocols at the ground, including the obligation to wear face masks and observe physical distancing.
“We have been missing the excitement and energy that fans bring to the game of cricket and we will be thrilled to safely welcome them for the first time in nearly two years as we host Bangladesh Women at Queens Sports Club in November,” ZC managing director Givemore Makoni said in the press release.
The move comes after sports fans have been clamouring for permission to attend sports matches since the relaxation of Covid-19 regulations that had led to the ban on all sporting games. The ban of fans was also a major blow for various sporting disciplines who were hoping for a return to normalcy after spending most of last year on the sidelines due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In March, the SRC resumed low risk sporting activities such as archery, cricket, chess, draft, table tennis, cycling, rolling, polo, shooting and swimming. From August other contact sports were later on gradually resumed.
This will be the first time that fans attended a cricket match in Zimbabwe since January 2020 when Zimbabwe hosted Sri Lanka for a two-match Test series at Harare Sports Club.
Both women cricket teams will be using the ODI series in Bulawayo as part of their final preparations for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 that will be staged in Harare from 21 November to 5 December. The 10-team global tournament will decide the remaining three participants for the 50-over International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand.
Apart from Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, the other teams participating in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2021 are West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and the United States of America.
Zimbabwe Women versus Bangladesh Women ODI Series 2021:
|Wednesday||10 November||1st ODI||Queens Sports Club||0930|
|Friday||12 November||2nd ODI||Queens Sports Club||0930|
|Monday||15 November||3rd ODI||Queens Sports Club||0930|